Out to Launch

Do you want to be a Superhero? How do you prefer VEX? Were you tricked into believing that a scorned woman went on a billboard buying, blog-posting frenzy? I was. And I blame the heat. Let's launch!

Continuing with its "Alibi"-themed ads, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has launched two 30-second spots where food and Broadway shows are the alibis used to cover up what really went down in Vegas. "Grocery Store" shows a man running into a female acquaintance. She asks him what he did in Vegas, and he awkwardly explains that he ate out often because he's a foodie. Too bad his shopping cart, loaded with Cheetos, cupcakes, soda and cheese spray, gave him away. "Gym" shows two men working out, and one friend explaining how he saw a slew of Broadway shows in Vegas. The ads are running on E!, Bravo, VH1, Comedy Central, TBS and A&E. Local outdoor and radio ads are running in Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Denver, Detroit and Seattle. R&R Partners handled the media planning and created the campaign, and Initiative handled the media buy.

The ad could have been real. People do stranger things with billboards. Like find a date for Saturday night. Alas, the Emily and Steven saga (you know, the ad where Emily outs her cheating husband Steven with a billboard paid with their joint bank account) was just a ruse. The teaser billboard was part of an elaborate Court TV campaign promoting the new season of investigator reality series "Parco P.I." There was even an in-depth blog, "written" by Emily, describing all the nasty things she's done to her ex. Can you imagine the person that got the job to write this blog? Talk about a perfect time to channel bitterness from a failed relationship. Phase two of the billboard campaign, which also ran in Los Angeles and Chicago, features a Parco P.I. sticker relaying the date and time of the show's season premiere. And there's more. Emily drove to Bryant Park and dumped out Steven's belongings, such as golf clubs, dress shirts, a laptop, and a 20" flat screen TV. Click here to watch the drama. Lastly, Steven's car, a 2006 Silver BMW 530i, was spray- painted with "Hope She Was Worth It" and "StevenIsACheatingDog.com." The car was then towed twice around the city last week. Why do I miss all the excitement? Amalgamated created the campaign, MediaStorm handled the media buying, Deep Focus created the blog and the Gem Group executed the car stunt.

I love double entendres--and a campaign for VEX Hard Lemonade has wet my whistle. An outdoor campaign in Canada, consisting of transit and subway ads, plays off another three-letter word that starts with "s" and rhymes with vex. The campaign supports the launch of two new VEX flavors, Blueberry Raspberry and Orange Pineapple. One ad shows three attractive women surrounding a nerdy looking guy with the tagline: "VEX with multiple partners? You betcha!" Another ad shows a man dressed '70s style and the tagline: "I've had VEX in ways you haven't even heard of." "Enza" shows Toronto drag queen Enza next to the line: "VEX with 3 fruits? I am so into that." "When it comes to VEX, bigger is definitely better," says the final ad where a young woman is featured. The campaign is running in key markets nationally, near high-volume venues such as movie theatres and nightclubs. GJP Advertising handled all aspects of the campaign.

The SCI FI Channel has launched a microsite and untraditional outdoor campaign promoting its new reality series "Who Wants to Be a Superhero?" The show enables people to create their own super hero alter ego. I would like the power to eat peanut butter and not have it stick to the roof of my mouth. To support the show's July 27 launch, SCI FI launched "Hero Machine," where users can design a superhero costume, name their alter ego and send it to friends. The microsite will be live through the end of the first season. In addition, SCI FI placed window clings on public restroom mirrors throughout New York City and Los Angeles. When you stand in front of the sink, you become an instant superhero. The mirror clings will remain clingy through the end of the week. Fallon created the campaign and handled the media planning and Starlink OOH executed the mirror cling buy.

Keeping with superheroes, Jetset Studios and 20th Century Fox have created BE MY EX, a companion site to the movie "My Super Ex-Girlfriend." The site showcases a series of black-and-white instructional videos that pay homage to 1950's health films and uses a fictitious doctor to describe the warning signs of a failing relationship. I enjoyed the "Top 10 Places to End a Relationship" section. You'll never think of a KISS concert, The Grand Canyon, Mardi Gras, and Chippendale's the same way again. The Web site also features the Will You Be My Ex? Quiz and FAQs on ending relationships.

BBDO New York and BBDO West have created three posters for Mitsubishi to be displayed in select showrooms. The ads feature various Mitsubishi cars, tons of color, a Japanese feel and copy such as "Left on the roof. The coffee cup hung air. Then became no more." Initially, I thought this was a haiku, but it's not in haiku format. Only one of the ads features copy in haiku format. Here goes: "A blue minivan. Watches from across the lot. Cargo of regret." The final copy isn't half bad either. "Under the seat. The French fry cops a ride. Luckiest of junk food."

ASICS launched a print and outdoor campaign this month that highlights the obvious and obscure reasons why people run. "I'll keep running" appears in all three ads, along with copy describing why running is important. This copy is my favorite: "Because it gives me amnesia. I forget about traffic. About work. About my 'check engine' light." The ad is running (pun intended) in more than 30 publications, including, Men's Health, Shape, Oprah, GQ, Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone. VitroRobertson handled all aspects of the campaign.

Kraft Foods has launched a series of TV, print, in-store, online and direct mail ads promoting three of its summertime brands--Kraft Mayonnaise, Kraft Salad Dressings and Kraft Barbecue Sauce--under the umbrella, "Kraft your summer." The brand recruited figure skater Michelle Kwan to hawk salad dressing and dancer/choreographer Savion Glover to promote mayo. The first ad, "Susie," shows a mother of twins creating a salad with some help from her baby (spoiler: the baby drops an animal cracker in the salad). "Savion" shows Glover making mini sandwiches for his children (click here to watch "Savion") and "Michelle" features Kwan attempting--and completing--a triple combination salad. Click here to watch "Michelle." Select grocery stores feature produce stickers adhered to watermelons and bags of lettuce that contain ideas for Kraft Salad Dressings. Floor graphics will promote barbecue sauce. mcgarrybowen created the campaign, Starcom MediaVest handled the media buying and 141worldwide created the point-of-sale material.

The Honda Fit has launched a massive ad campaign, consisting of 11 TV spots, 7 print ads, 3 outdoor executions, mini flip books, and online ads. Phew. And I didn't even mention the direct mail component, complete with Shrinky Dinks. Excuse me while I have a childhood flashback. Print ads liken the Honda Fit (a compact car with spunk) to other small but powerful items, from a silver bullet to a bat. TV ads, ranging from 5- to 30-seconds long, are similar to the print executions, comparing the Honda Fit (in a psychedelic ambiance) to a frisky predator (a cat) and a professional wrestler. The ads are running on national broadcast and cable networks along with major local markets. Print ads can be found in Time, Entertainment Weekly, Maxim, Jane, Details, Rolling Stone, People, Interview and Wired. RPA handled all aspects of the campaign.

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